Planning to get your sweetie something for Valentine’s Day? Here are a few ideas to express your love in a more sustainable way:

Chocolate

This is an easy one. Fair trade chocolate abounds year-round and can be found in many stores.

Fair trade products are certified to promote fair wages, community development and environmental sustainability. While chocolate, coffee and sugar are the most common, Fair Trade Manitoba’s online consumer guide will help you find a variety of fair trade products across the province, from bananas to fine wines.

Greeting Card

Valentine’s Day is second only to Xmas for the number of cards sold, according to the Greeting Card Association.

E-cards are one alternative to paper greeting cards and becoming increasingly popular. Even the major greeting card companies are recognizing the trend and getting into electronic cards. But while e-cards for birthdays and grads are perfectly acceptable, some may feel that Valentine’s Day is too personal.

In that case, at a minimum ensure the card you purchase is 100% recycled content. Better yet, upcycle or recycle a card you received or gave in the past. You can keep the same card going for years. Nothing is sweeter than starting a tradition that captures your statement of love over time.

Flowers

Contact your local florist to ask if they carry fair trade certified roses. In past years, Generation Green, Freshcut Downtown, the Floral Fixx, and others have carried fair trade certified flowers, but I had no luck finding roses this year. If you find a florist selling fair trade certified roses, let me know!

Gift Giving

Valentine’s Day is a day to express love. In addition to showing your love for that special someone, how about showing your love for the planet too? Support Green Action Centre and purchase our unique Living Green necklace, handcrafted by local designer Hilary Druxman, who recycles and re-uses all of their scrap metal – even the sweepings! Each necklace retails for $40, and all net proceeds will go toward ongoing waste reduction and sustainable transportation projects at the Centre.